Approach to hromadas’ amalgamation criteria will change in 2018, - Hennadii Zubko

With the launch of the decentralisation reform, the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts were among the first to start the amalgamation process. Today there are 130 rayons in Ukraine with no amalgamated hromada established. At the same time, the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts are the most active in this indicator. For example, these oblasts are 10th and 11th respectively out of 24 positions in the amalgamation ranking, said Hennadii Zubko, Vice-Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, on the air of the 5th Channel’s "Time of Opportunities" programme.

"This year, we will change the approach to the criteria of hromadas’ amalgamation. The quality of AHs – number of people living on the territory, the area of oblast’s coverage by hromadas, financial indicators, AH capacity – and no longer their number, is crucial for the country. Another indicator is the quality of service provision: establishment of hub schools, ASCs, Citizens' Safety Centres, kindergartens, road infrastructure development, high-quality primary healthcare, etc. And frankly speaking, the results of decentralisation in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts are evident in these directions," said Hennadii Zubko.

He gave an example of the Lugansk Oblast, which is on the demarcation line, is very patriotic, and in the context of hromadas’ amalgamation can be an example to those 130 rayons, that are still thinking over the amalgamation process.

"Today there are certain threats and challenges in the rayons of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, located on the demarcation line. This is primarily a threat of military aggression, people's safety and the process of hromadas’ amalgamation. In addition, there is a lack of staff that could work in these oblasts. At the same time, amalgamation of hromadas in the east of the country is important in these oblasts, because it is a matter of new opportunities in management, in the development of territories and creation of new effective managerial teams," said the official.

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